Manawatu Bowls News – 29th Nov.

Thanks to Tony Jensen, for providing us with all the news from around Manawatu Lawn Bowls this week…

“In a fantastic exhibition of fellowship bowlers from throughout the Manawatu and elsewhere joined together on Monday to farewell their beloved Centre President Maggie May who died suddenly last Thursday.

Among the mourners were Past Presidents of Bowls NZ Martin Christensen and Coral Wing along with Bowls NZ regional representative Paul Cavanagh.

Maggie (as she was known to everybody)  first came to prominence in Bowls playing out of the now defunct Kairanga Club in the 1970’s and after her formative years was soon into administration, became an umpire then advanced to a term as President of the Manawatu Women’s Centre.

In those day’s the women had a separate law book and among the odd and dare I say draconian rules were those covering dress. Women had to have dresses no higher than 12 inches above the ground and umpires were armed with a measuring stick to check compliance. They were also required to wear stockings at all times. During the 1980 champion of champion fours played in a sweltering 32 degrees Maggie decreed that the women could take their stockings off which they did with great relief. That exemplified the style she displayed always. She often commented that the game was for the players and if the rule book was not in step with reality “Bugger the rules” was the likely response and exactly in that venacular.

Maggie had been a very good all round sportswoman excelling and representing at swimming, netball and indoor basketball and after her service to Manawatu women’s bowls she took to golf with success. She was drawn back to bowls and joined Takaro before becoming a member of the Centre Executive shortly after the men and women amalgamated. She moved through to Women’s vice-president and at the time of her death was in her second term as President. She was a great fundraiser and bowlers knew to have their raffle money at the ready before they got the stare.

Larger than life, calling a spade a spade and similar comments were the sort of statements that best described Maggie and usually an adjective was added to embellish the description of the spade! Through all of this she had a wonderfully generous nature, as a caterer she was a great loss to the infantry and there was always plenty. Bowls is a game that attracts the refined, the hard cases and the truly competitive sports people but all had genuine affection for Maggie. I will miss her immensely and there were many heavy hearts when we commenced Interclub with a silent tribute last Saturday.

• I have commented often in recent times about the way the Takaro Club has made giant strides and that was reflected when the Club led  Division One Men’s and Division Two Women’s interclub after day one last Saturday. Day one results can alter dramatically as Terrace End’s division One women found last season when they led comfortably only to be overtaken by Northern on the second day. The division one men will
play another complete round on Saturday and with Takaro on 11, Northern 10, Palmerston North 9 and Terrace End 6 anything could happen. We are unlikely to again  encounter the very difficult conditions that prevailed last Saturday and a good first round by any team will likely be decisive.

Division One women’s is just as tight with Northern and Palmerston North locked together on seven and Terrace End only three shots behind. What is certain is that the competition will go down to the wire.

Significant in the Takaro women’s second Division performance is they beat both Palmerston North and Northern three nil. They face Bulls next and Johnston Park in the last round but that Club will first have to get past Northern.

Division Two Men’s is difficult to predict as it is played in two sections and the winners will play off in a final. What is almost certain is that Palmerston North One, the winners of the tournament last year won’t be in the final unless they make a clean sweep of the last two rounds. They are capable of such a result against Bulls and Ashhurst. In the other section Palmerston North have a handy four point lead and it may all come down to their last round clash with Northern.

All interclub will be completed after Saturday and such an open competition
Suggests we may be waiting till last bowls have been played to determine winners.

• The Centre executive will meet this week to determine who will assume the Presidency but what is certain is that Clubs need to encourage members to step forward to take on these governance roles. There is already one vacancy and likely a second once the presidency is sorted. In the meantime I am acting president and I would love to talk with any bowlers who think they may be able to assist at Centre level.

Tony Jensen”

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